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Suction specific speed choices have consequences

10.01.2011  |  Bloch, H. P.,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, 

Keywords: [pumps] [suction] [head (pump)] [NPSH] [impeller] [maintenance]

A refinery engineer was in a quandary over requests from a project group. High volume/pressure/temperature pumps in hydrocarbon service were involved and the refinery’s standards had, in 2007, been changed so as to avoid purchasing pumps that might not operate well in the lower flow region. The engineer asked if it was really practical to insist on accepting only pumps with an Nsss (meaning “suction specific speed”) below 9,000, although decades ago his company had allowed pumps with Nsss values up to 12,000. But first, a greatly simplified introduction to Nsss and its importance.

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